Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 20, 2014

Posts in "Medicaid"

August 12, 2014

Anti-Fraud Bill Presses CMS to Nix Social Security Numbers on Medicare Cards

Medicare identification cards would no longer display beneficiaries’ Social Security numbers under a new bill outlined recently by the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, released the draft text of a measure that compiles a wide range of suggestions to thwart Medicare and Medicaid payment fraud and abuse. The proposals– collected from a bipartisan suggestions offered by committee members — range from halting payments for health services provided to deceased beneficiaries to enhanced fraud abuse monitoring of various specific provider payments, such as those for medical equipment, vacuum erection systems and ambulance services.

The aim of ending the printing of Social Security numbers on Medicare cards is to protect against possible fraud against Medicare beneficiaries, rather than to save the program’s money. The Medicare card is one of the few remaining federal documents that still display the full Social Security number, opening up the possibility for identity theft if the card is lost or stolen.

Eliminating Social Security numbers on the card is a long-running bipartisan congressional objective that has not been taken up by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. HealthBeat’s John Reichard reported in April on questions about the ID card posed to CMS official at a panel hearing on Medicare fraud. The Medicare agency insists that it lacks the resources to make the change.

The Government Accountability Office in 2012 reviewed several options offered to CMS to change the Medicare card. The suggestions included replacing the number, only partially displaying it, or denoting it in a machine readable bar code.

 

July 31, 2014

Taxes on Health Care Providers Are Bigger Chunk of Medicaid Funding

A Government Accountability Office report released on Tuesday examines states’ increasing reliance on taxes on health care providers to help cover Medicaid spending.

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July 30, 2014

Powered Wheelchairs: CMS Expands Payment Scrutiny

A trial program that requires prior-authorization before payment for power mobility devices, or powered wheelchairs, will be expanded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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By Paul Jenks Posted at 10:05 a.m.
Medicaid, Medicare

July 18, 2014

Medicaid: Wide Variations Among States Continue

The Medicaid program, which is managed by the states with federal funding, has always had a wide variation of coverage. Various demographic and political factors have set the different state programs apart. The Government Accountability Office this week released a review of Medicaid enrollee spending differences between the states.

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July 17, 2014

Report Wonders: Where is the Patient Deluge?

One of the most widely accepted expectations of both proponents and opponents of the 2010 health care law was that health care utilization rates would increase as newly insured persons sought treatment options. However, a report this week from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Athena Health Research does not show a deluge in new patients.

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July 16, 2014

Today’s Spotlight: Premium Subsidy Verification

A House Energy and Commerce panel today examines the income verification process for health plan premium subsidies.  Problems with the verification system became apparent in news reports published in May and the committee is mulling recent reports from the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general on problems with early planning and insufficient controls on the troubled subsidy verification process. Full story

July 11, 2014

Surveys Cite Drops in Uninsurance Rates

Recent new enrollment in health care overhaul law’s insurance exchanges, particularly an expanded Medicaid program, has lowered the number of uninsured persons, reports a new Commonwealth Fund survey.

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July 10, 2014

$100 Million in Grants for Health Centers Serves as a Reminder That Authorization Runs Out

The agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services are prolific in offering health care funding and research grant opportunities. In the wake of additional batch of health center teaching grants earlier this week, HHS on Tuesday announced $100 million in funding for 150 new health center sites.

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